A new football stadium is set to be named after D-Day veteran and lifelong Pompey fan John Jenkins.
The 1,180-capacity John Jenkins Stadium, developed by Pompey in the Community, will be built in the heart of a £3.5m new sports complex on the site of the former Moneyfields Sports and Social Club in Moneyfield Avenue, Copnor.
Its title honours the life of the Normandy Landings veteran who received a standing ovation from world leaders at last year’s D-Day commemorations. The 100-year-old died on December 17, 2019.
It will be surrounded by two all-weather pitches, a boxing gym, a dance studio, and a social club across the six-acres of the sports complex.
Clare Martin, chief executive of Pompey in the Community, said: ‘John Jenkins was a massive friend to Pompey in the Community and would often call in to see what we were doing, often bringing home-made baked goods with him.
‘It is only right that now we have got the go ahead for this new stadium and sports facilities at Moneyfields that we name the stadium after him.
‘He was a huge part of the city and this is the least we can do to recognise what he meant to all of us.’
£3.5m community sports complex in central Portsmouth named the John Jenkins Stadium. Proposed visualisations for Moneyfields sports and social club
The development will provide a home for Portsmouth FC Women, Moneyfields FC, and activities for more than 36,000 children and adults who are supported by the organisation, which is currently paying £120,000-a-year to hire pitches.
Ms Martin added: ‘Often we have to bus our teams out of the city to places as far away as Alton to find a pitch.’
The new facilities will buck a trend in spare funding for grassroots football and will be be an ‘unbelievable honour’ for Moneyfields FC to play in a stadium named after ‘a Portsmouth legend,’ according to club director Peter Seiden.
He said: ‘This plan was the last chance to keep the club going.
‘Grassroots football hardly ever gets any kind of funding.
‘To have a secure future and keep alive the memory of a Portsmouth legend is an unbelievable honour.’
Funding from Pompey Supporters Trust will provide more than £250,000 for the development, with £3.25m hopefully coming from a crowdfunding project and grants.
Riversdale Developments, which is building houses and flats on one acre of the site, gifted the land to Pompey in the Community.
Construction lasting 12 months on the sports complex is due to begin this summer.
News from The News, Portsmouth